Should Wood Floors Be Lighter or Darker than Cabinets?

Should Wood Floors Be Lighter or Darker than Cabinets – To achieve a stylish look in your kitchen, you can easily learn some basic guidelines of interior design. This guideline will give your kitchen a pleasing look.

Now, wooden floors can be tricky to correctly match with the right furniture. A wooden floor with wooden cabinets will not give a pleasant outcome. There are several rules of designing. The following general rules will help you with new ideas for your kitchen.

Here, we will suggest you some appealing ideas to match the wooden flooring of your kitchen.

Don’t Match Floors and Cabinets

There are two definitive reasons why you should not match the wooden flooring with the same wooden cabinets. Firstly, the cabinets will take up the whole wall space. Having the same hues for walls and flooring creates a look lacking in definition or volume. The kitchen will look flat and unattractive.

Secondly, it is unlikely to get an exact match for the cabinets with the flooring. It is essentially difficult to find the same shades of the woodwork to match with. You might get a similar shade. A little difference in wood grains will remain. This might cause a dysfunction in the final look.

This mismatch will end up being a design flaw. The almost-matching look will make people wonder about your trial and failure to match both looks. Therefore, this says a lot. Choosing two different shades for the flooring and the cabinets is much easier. Adding different shades to the wooden cabinets and flooring will give good results.

Should Wood Floors Be Lighter or Darker than Cabinets

Should Wood Floors Be Lighter or Darker than Cabinets

The next question can be whether to apply a darker wooden flooring or light shades for cabinets. Choosing the correct shades for the wooden flooring or the cabinets completely depends on your personal choice.

Your style and mood will be enhanced with the choice. The other features like the size and shape of the room can become the factors for the selection of the style. Even the main functionality of the kitchen area and the room’s natural light needs consideration while choosing the shades of the wooden flooring and the cabinets.

Hence, selecting the perfect wooden flooring for your kitchen is necessary. There isn’t any definite reply regarding the right choice of hue. It completely depends on your mood, style, and choice.

The Style

Should Wood Floors Be Lighter or Darker Than Cabinets

While choosing the right shades it is necessary to think about the final interior style you want to achieve. You can choose from an elegant style to a modern casual interior style for your kitchen. You can choose any one of the styles to match your desired style.

Darker flooring may project elegance, sophistication. On the other hand, a lighter shade may exhibit a natural look. Lighter shades can increase the volume of the kitchen. It can make it appear more spacious than a darker wood. You can pick any one option that suits your comfort.

The darker wood is for a formal classic look.  The lighter shades are for a casual modern look. Choosing the appropriate style or shade will narrow down your options.


You have to keep in mind the practical usage of your kitchen before selecting the flooring style. Consider the daily wear and tear due to heavy usage. You might also consider the number of family members using the kitchen and the kitchen space. You have to be careful about any heavy footings on the wooden flooring. Even the existence of pets should be reflected.

For example, light shades on the flooring will show the dirty footprints of the shoes of people walking around. Darker shades can show the scratches done by your pets. Since the pets are more prone to scratching the floor.

Room Size and Aspect

Another important factor regarding the choice of lighter or darker flooring is maintaining the correct size of the kitchen. The selection of shades modifies the final size of the kitchen. The space might appear small or big depending on the choice of the correct shade. You have to choose whether you want a bigger spacious look or a smaller kitchen.

A lighter shade will give your small kitchen a spacious look. It will allow more natural light to enter the room. It might appear airier too.

A darker shade will draw your eyes down on the floor. It will highlight the marks and footprints on the food. A small kitchen with some windows or a large south-aspect window might cover up for the dark wooden flooring.

The windows will allow wind and light to enter. Again for bigger kitchen darker wooden flooring grounds the total look. It gives a compact look.

Contrast and Coordinate Floors and Cabinets

After you decide on the shade it is time to decide the color. Now the following guidelines will help you decide the color of the wooden flooring or the cabinets.

Pick a color palette

It is vital to choose a color palette before proceeding with the styling.

It’s often easy, to work with all three finest colors.  This balances the busyness in the room allowing scope for more contrasts and interests. The proper ratio of the main base color, the main accent color, and the secondary accent color is 60:30:10 respectively. This ratio is a general rule to follow choosing your color palette.

Neutral colors are always in demand. Neutral colors appear more easy and relaxed for everyone. A combination of three colors can be chosen for your color palette. A combination of three colors can create a sensible balance with the final get-up.

The combination of grey, green, and gold is often chosen by people. The neutral grey will fill up 60% of the room. the color green will cover 30% of the room with the rest 10% of the room highlighted with gold will accentuate the other two hues.

 For this palette, you can introduce pale grey cabinets, dark grey flooring. You can also add green to kitchen walls along with some gold accessories. This will complete the look for the chosen palette. After choosing the palette it will be easier to add more elements to the kitchen.


It is important to know how to coordinate the colors in your kitchen with wooden flooring. You can choose a contrasting wooden flooring with the rest of the woodwork of the kitchen.

The wooden cabinets may not match with the flooring but their colors can contrast. The color palette you have chosen can be utilized to select different undertones to contrast the flooring and the cabinets. We can use undertones to contrast with each other.

You can choose from the cooler and the warmer undertones for your kitchen. The cooler undertones include woods obtained from maple or ash. They contain purple, blue, or green tints. Whereas the warmer undertones have orange, yellowish, or reddish hints which are easily highlighted. They are easy to spot. The warm undertones may also appear golden.

Adjust shades

Even if you decide to go with the same color for the flooring and the cabinets there is a proper rule to work this out. You have to choose three shades lesser or more for each of the elements in your kitchen. The selection has to be done precisely. This will create a definite individual effect for each of the elements of the room decor. This will add an individual definition to the flooring and the cabinets.

For example, to complete the look with a similar color you can pick medium oak for the floor and dark oak for the cabinets. If you do not follow this general rule the result will project a massive failure of color combination. It will create a design flaw as well.


Contrasting colors or shades can be the most useful and effective idea to make the kitchen more stylish. You can apply contrasting colors to create a bold effect. For example, an interesting contrasting color combination for a wooden finish can be blue, brown, and orange.

You can opt for the color blue for cabinets and brown wood with orange undertones for the flooring. The two colors contrast as they are on the opposite sides of a color wheel. You can also opt for contrasting shades instead of colors.

You can use the opposite shades of the shade spectrum of the same color. It will give a nice finishing to your kitchen decor. A pale grey wooden cabinet against a dark grey wooden flooring can be a good example.

To create a contemporary design often different shades of the same color are used. To create such layers of tones you can choose medium grey cabinets with dark grey flooring.


Another idea to add more versatility to your kitchen can be to use neutral shades. You can choose neutral shades for the flooring. The neutral shade will keep your options open to add various other color options.

You can also add various accessories to enrich your kitchen interior. It is common to have a change of mind regarding the kitchen cabinet décor in the future. You can also make future changes without altering the flooring. Hence wooden neutral flooring will be a sensible option for your kitchen.

To choose a neutral wooden floor you have to avoid any vibrant tones. You have to avoid red oak, cherry wood flooring. It is hard to accessorize these vibrant tones with various other colors or tones. These vibrant tones will limit your color coordinating options. Later you can apply other colors to your kitchen space with neutral wooden floors.

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